Emma Morano, World’s Oldest Person, Dies at 117


"My word, I’m as old as the hills."

Last May, that was Emma Morano’s response to learning that the Guinness World Record for Oldest Living Person had been passed on to her following the death of the previous record-holder, Susannah Mushatt Jones. On November 29, 2016, Morano celebrated her 117th birthday. Today, the Associated Press reports that Morano—the last living person who was born in the 19th century—has passed away.

“She didn’t suffer,” said Morano’s longtime doctor, Dr. Carlo Bava, who reported that she passed away very peacefully, while sitting in her rocking chair at home. “I’m happy she didn’t suffer but passed away that way, tranquilly,” he said.

While other centenarians have attributed their longevity to everything from exercise to lack of exercise, Morano claimed her secret to a long life was two raw eggs a day. Morano, who was born in the village of Civiasco in northern Italy, made a practice of eating raw eggs for nearly a century, ever since she was diagnosed with anemia at the age of 20.

Of course, genetics can't be overlooked: Though Morano, the oldest of eight children, outlived all of her siblings, several of her sisters lived to see their 100th birthdays (and her mother passed away at the age of 91).

Though Morano was only about three months older than Jamaica-born Violet Brown—who turned 117 last month, and now holds the title of oldest living person—Morano was "the world's last living link to the 19th century."